Not Just for Women: Benefits of Mind Body Classes for Men
By Tracy Dye
Despite the explosive popularity of fitness classes like yoga and pilates, the ratio of male to female participants remains skewed. Step into any mind body class, and you can often expect a majority of the room to be populated by females. Why is this?
According to the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA), discrepancies may exist due to things like:
- Terms such as “toning” and “sculpting” being construed as feminine
- Preference to work out solo as opposed to with others
- Majority of fitness instructors being female
The truth is that group fitness classes offer a myriad of benefits that aren’t partial to women. You can build strength, decrease stress and even improve your love life!
According to Men’s Fitness Magazine, the poses in yoga also pose several benefits for men. To name a few:
- Injury prevention
- Weight loss
- Stronger, sculpted muscles
- Improved digestion
You can also significantly reduce stress and even smell better — yes, smell better.
If you still need convincing that yoga isn’t strictly for females, check out these male athletes who practice the modality.
Joseph Pilates — a handyman and boxer — was the founder of the practice. He was also asthmatic and many of pilates’ principles focus on breath control, which improves lung functioning. Like yoga, pilates can improve strength, reduce stress and prevent injury.
It can also improve your love life by boosting creativity, increasing stamina and decreasing inhibitions — among other things.
This versatile workout was founded and field tested by the Navy SEALs. Suspension straps are used to complete over 300 types of exercises and engage different muscles for a total body workout. TRX is now used by professional athletes like NFL players, personal trainers and in group fitness classes.
A recent study in the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine offers further credibility to the resistance training. According to the study, TRX offers the same benefits as conventional weight training, while also improving performance in various areas. One thing that truly makes TRX stand out from the use of machines and dumbbells is its level of safety.
Because TRX allows participants to work at their own level, you’re much less likely to suffer injury or overexertion. Conversely, there is no glass ceiling when it comes to challenging yourself. TRX classes accept all levels due to their ability to adhere to different paces and strengths.
Stress certainly doesn’t discriminate based on gender. Internal energy classes like qigong and tai chi cultivate awareness between the mind and body with flowing movements and meditation. This union provides participants with a plethora of health benefits, including:
- Reduced stress
- Lowered blood pressure
- An overall sense of well-being and physical harmony
Lest we forget to mention one of the most important elements of internal energy classes — fun! Internal energy classes invite a sense of play through guided imagery and an inclusive environment.